Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Afghanistan: Attacks on Schools

A timely supplement to our reading of Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea:

The New York Times reports on attacks on female students attending schools in Afghanistan.
Shukria, the slain 13-year-old, was considered a polite girl who reverently studied the Koran. Saadia, the other student killed, was remarkable in that she was married and 25. She had refused to let age discourage her from finishing an education interrupted by the Taliban years. She was about to graduate.
The article includes a photo essay.

A recent Amnesty International report Afghanistan: All who are not friends, are enemies: Taleban abuses against civilians offers up some grim statistics:
  • At least 172 violent attacks on schools took place in the first six months of 2006 compared with 60 for the whole of 2005.
  • 75 students, teachers and other school staff were killed in attacks between 2005 to 2006.
  • Between 2005-2006, 359 schools were closed in the provinces of Kandahar, Paktika, Zabul, Ghazni, Khost, Helmand Uruzgan and Daikundi due to security concerns for children and teachers, denying access to education for around 132,800 children.
  • 183 schools were burned in arson attacks across the country between 2005-2006.
  • Six children have died as a result of school attacks in 2006.
See also Afghanistan: Women Still Under Attack.

One reason attacks like these continue is the lack of accountability for past human rights violations. Put pressure on the Afghan government to end impunity here.
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